BLOG TOUR – With a Little Bit of Blood – REVIEW

Welcome! Pardon me for the bare-bones. I will update with graphics later. Today I’m participating in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for With a Little Bit of Blood by D.E. Ireland.

Synopsis

In the fourth book from the Agatha Award nominated writing team of D.E. Ireland, famous literary characters Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins find they may have brought trouble with them when they attend a country house party in With A Little Bit of Blood.

Eliza is not happy when Higgins buys a snazzy roadster. Her misgivings prove correct when he becomes injured in a motor car crash. Forced to play nursemaid, Eliza is thrilled to accept an invitation to a house party from Lord Ashmore and his bride, the former Clara Eynsford-Hill. But upon their arrival at Banfield Manor, Eliza is dismayed to see her sweetheart Freddy arm in arm with a beautiful actress. Higgins is shocked to learn the woman who once stalked him is also attending the party. Things grow even worse when spiritualist Madame Evangeline arrives and warns of impending danger. Her prediction comes true when someone is killed during the following day’s shoot in the forest.
Higgins and Eliza suspect it wasn’t an accident, but murder. Every guest hides a dark secret that involved the dead man. But who hated him more? The French aviator, the American cinema actress, a lady novelist, the Austrian count, or a knighted explorer of the Amazon? Madame Evangeline’s séance may reveal what is really going on. But her cryptic words deepen the mystery, especially after another guest turns up dead.

Who is behind these murders? And has Higgins himself been targeted? As the day of the fox hunt begins, it seems likely that more than the fox will die. Before that happens, Eliza and the Professor must discover who may have a little bit of blood on their hands.

 

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I really like the series and am looking forward to even more!

I love the chemistry between Professor Higgins and Eliza. I also love that it’s not romantic. Platonic friendships are so important and it’s so nice when the female isn’t in love with the male, they’re just friends. I don’t mind romance in my cozy mysteries, I’m just glad this one is different.

The setting is a gorgeous country house. It’s an intriguing plot and I did not figure out the villain before the end. I had a suspicion but it wasn’t very strong. Something just seemed “off” about the person.

All in all, a fabulous book and highly recommended!!

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BLOG TOUR – Eggs on Ice – REVIEW

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Welcome!  First, a huge apology to Laura Childs and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. I had my weeks mixed up and thought my post was next week, not this week and apparently this was supposed to be up yesterday!  So I apologize for the tardiness of this post.

I’m actually rather excited by this post so I’m doubly sad that it wasn’t on time. I really enjoyed this book. This is the eighth in the Cackleberry Club mysteries which is my favorite of Laura Childs’ various series.

About the Book

Eggs on Ice (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Berkley (December 4, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425281728
ISBN-13: 978-0425281727
Kindle ASIN: B07BD23MV9

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

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Some say that casting crusty attorney Allen Sharpe as Scrooge in the Kindred Players production of “A Christmas Carol” is just playing to type. He’s not the most beloved man in town. In fact, you’d have a dickens of a time finding someone who liked him. Still it’s a shock when the Ghost of Christmas Past stabs him during the first rehearsal. Suzanne, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club café, Kindred’s favorite combination diner, craft store and bookshop, chases the murderer out of the building but loses him in the alley.

As the days pass the list of suspects grows longer. Is it the disgruntled partner? The former secretary whom Sharpe sexually harassed? Or is it fellow owner of the Cackleberry Club, Toni’s almost ex-husband, Junior? The women of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he can add another victim to his Christmas list.

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Review – 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This book was a lot of fun to read.  I still think #7 is still my favorite of the series, but this one started off with action and never stopped.

I love the characters in this series. Petra, Toni and Suzanne always crack me up and leave me with all the feels. I’d love to see more of Petra in future stories. And Junior, Junior is the epitome of the term ” “, but he’s still somewhat loveable and feels like that black sheep of the family that everyone ends up taking care of.

The plot line was great and it wasn’t until late in the book that I was suspicious of the actual villain. I did figure it out before the end of the book, but there were plenty of red herrings to throw you off.

I liked that with this ending, while Suzanne had been searching/chasing after the killer, she didn’t deliberately go out and attempt to literally chase the killer down. I won’t say more than that as I don’t want to spoil the ending.  All in all definitely a book I highly recommend.

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About the Author

laura childs from facebook

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Webpage – http://www.laurachilds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31

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Thank you for joining me today. My sincere apologies again for the lateness of this post.  If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, click on the banner below and go to the main tour page.

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BLOG TOUR – Ginger Snapped – BOOK BLITZ

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Congrats to Chloe Sunstone on the release of her exciting Cybercrime Thriller, Ginger Snapped!

Read on for more details, an exclusive excerpt, and a fantastic giveaway!

Ginger Snapped - eBook small.jpgGinger Snapped: A Cybercrime Thriller with a Shocking Twist

Publication Date: October 22nd, 2018

Genre: Thriller

How does an amazing professional opportunity descend into a living nightmare?

Carefree Ginger’s motto of “Work Hard, Play Harder” shapes her life. So when her husband, Jake, gets a job offer on the other side of the country, she is up for the adventure.

But after Jake accepts the promotion, nothing is as expected. While Ginger remains in Cleveland to sell their house, she is plagued by strange prank calls, premonition-like nightmares, and the feeling that she is being watched. Is Jake’s new job putting her in danger?

Unfortunately, she ignores her intuition and soon finds herself face to face with a ruthless killer. Trapped in a deadly world of corporate corruption and murderous greed, she must overcome her own fears and rely on her wits if she plans to survive.

Although the first in the Ginger Gibson series, this is a standalone book.

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Excerpt

Oh No! I’m back. I am surrounded by inky black nothingness. The air is musty…damp, my nostrils fill with the smell of dank basement. Like in a haunted house, filled with saws and chains and bloody hooks, this is the perfect place for any psycho to hide his tools of the crazy trade. I’m trembling, from the all-encompassing fear, eating at every cell in my body.Where am I? My fingers search out for clues. Beneath me is a thin mattress on a hard surface. My head rests on a concrete-like pillow. My breathing escalates as the panic rises in my chest. I open my mouth to scream, but only a muted croak escapes. Over the thunder of my pounding heart, I hear a booming crack, a gunshot. I recognize the sound from a trip to the range with Jake years earlier.

I swing my legs over the side of my perch, thinking in my blind panic to run even though I cannot see. I can’t ignore this intense urge to flee. But my impulse is thwarted by an unknown restraint trapping my left arm, a rope? Panic has me in its grip. I gasp for air to fill my lungs but produce only whimpers and muted pleas.

A loud screech reverberates through the darkness. Rats? Oh, please, no rats! Could this get any worse? Hysterical, I yank relentlessly on the rope tethering me. With each tug, the line cuts deeper into my skin. My arm warms as blood seeps from the gouges, coating my hand and fingers. Behind me, the pounding sound of footsteps startles me. Before I can turn to confront my visitor, I feel the rush of air preceding the impact to the back of my head. A blaze of bright stars then, a different blackness envelopes me.

Available in Paperback & Kindle

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

About the Author

Chloe_Sunstone

After over twenty years in Human Resources, Chloe decided to make a change. She returned to her first love of writing. She combined her corporate experience with her love for the written word to create engaging cyber-crime thrillers.

On a personal note, Chloe lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her loving husband, Mike. They spend their free time boating, scuba diving, and of course, reading. Her latest cybercrime mystery, Ginger Snapped, is available on Amazon.

Chloe Sunstone | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

For your chance to win a paperback copy of Ginger Snapped, click the link below!

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BLOG TOUR – Wreath Between the Lines – REVIEW

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Good morning! I’m excited to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Wreath Between the Lines, the seventh book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber. I love this series so I was excited for this new installment!

About the Book

Wreath Between the Lines (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Beyond the Page (November 8, 2018)
Print Length: 221 pages
ASIN: B07GC4FJK4

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

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Synopsis

The Agatha Award–winning author of Pressing the Issue returns to the Cookbook Nook, where Jenna Hart is busy decking the halls and ducking a killer . . .

The holidays are Jenna Hart’s favorite time of year, but just as she’s decorating the Cookbook Nook for all the festive events, her imperious older sister makes a surprise visit, anxious that her husband’s been more naughty than nice. To make matters worse, her father’s good friend Jake shows up on her doorstep with a frantic report that his friend has been murdered—trussed with Christmas lights and impaled with a tree star.

Worried that Jake was the intended victim, Jenna makes a list of suspects and checks it twice. Swapping her Santa’s hat for a sleuthing cap, she gets busy investigating Jake’s long-lost sister, his Grinch of a neighbor, and a stamp collector who covets Jake’s most treasured piece. When Jake himself is poisoned and nearly dies, Jenna knows she’ll have to do whatever it takes to corner the culprit before it’s lights out for Jake . . .

Includes tantalizing holiday recipes!

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Review – 4.5 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this latest installment of the Cookbook Nook Mystery series. I love the series anyway, but I thought this one was exceptionally well-done. The only reason it didn’t get five stars is it just didn’t have that extra “pop” of feeling that I get with books. That’s what pushes them up to 5 stars for me.

We have all our favorite characters back and a few new-ish ones. I say new-ish because they’ve always been on the perimeter, but we got to know them a little better in this book. I really like Jake and am super excited for him over the changes that happened in the end of the book for him (no spoilers! You’ll have to read it yourself!).

I enjoyed seeing Crystal Cove getting ready for Christmas and their Christmas festival. I enjoyed getting to know Jenna’s niece, Lacy, a little more and hearing about her group’s performance in the singing contest. I love the name of their group too!

The plot line moved along smoothly and wasn’t bogged down by insignificant or unimportant details. I did not guess the villain this time until it was reviewed. That’s always nice. There’s a lot of mysteries that I’ve still enjoyed even knowing who the villain was, but it’s always nice when I don’t know.

All in all, an exceptionally well-done mystery and story. This is a series that I would definitely suggest starting at the beginning with Final Sentence, though if you read this one first, you won’t be too lost with the interpersonal relationships. XmasFenceWithSanta-gg

About the Author

 

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

“They” blog on www.mysteryloverskitchen.com as well as www.killercharacters.com

Daryl’s Blog – http://www.darylwoodgerber.com

Avery’s Blog – http://www.averyaames.com

Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com

Killer Characters – http://killercharacters.com

Facebook: Daryl http://www.facebook.com/darylwoodgerberAvery http://www.facebook.com/averyaames

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads: Daryl Wood Gerber https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4750535.Daryl_Wood_GerberAvery Aames https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3153786.Avery_Aames

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Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the post and the stop on the tour. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click the banner below to go to the main tour page where there is a list of tour participants.

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BLOG TOUR – A Vintage Death – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for A Vintage Death, the second in the Keepsake Cove Mystery series by Mary Ellen Hughes. Following my review of the book will be an interview with the author!

About the Book


A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752274
ISBN-13: 978-0738752273
Digital
ASIN: B0795RTP2B

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

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Synopsis

As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.

Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.

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Review – 4.5 out of 5 stars

This was a great new installment to the series! I really enjoyed it. I enjoy the characters anyway and I was happy to meet this new character and friend, the author Lyssa.  Although I will admit to wondering if she was the killer because she was so insistent on getting close to Callie and working with her on finding the killer.

This plot line was fun, though I didn’t like the deceased at all so I really wasn’t all that invested in seeing whomever killed him caught!  I did not figure it out before it was revealed either and then I was genuinely surprised about it. I’m rarely surprised by who the villain is which is why I gave this 4.5 stars.

All in all, it’s a great book and I highly recommend it. You can read it on its own and not be too lost with the interpersonal relationships, but I recommend starting with the first book in the series, A Fatal Collection.

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Author Interview

MARY ELLEN HUGHES

Q1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?

No current day job. I was a Medical Technologist before and after being a stay-at-home mom. I enjoyed both, but I’m glad to be able to focus on writing.


Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day, or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

I like to keep to a routine, which is writing most mornings when my mind is freshest. I write slowly (compared to some writers) but steadily and am happy to just make progress – no set word count.

Music would be much too distracting for me. I don’t think of it as background but would listen to it. I prefer a nice, quiet place. Writing in a coffee shop would definitely not work for me.


Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Once in a while a new character tries to hijack things. The suspense author who I brought in for A Vintage Death has a strong personality, and I had to keep her from taking over from my main character, Callie Reed.

I’ll sketch out an outline but it’s not too detailed. I like to fill in more as the story progresses.


Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

I broke in by having my first book published by a small publisher, who didn’t require submissions from an agent. (Getting an agent can sometimes be harder than getting a publisher.) After two books with this small pub, a good agent took me on. That led to a contract with a top publisher.

I lost count of all the rejections before that, but there were a lot. I never thought of quitting. I watched a couple of writer friends get published and that gave me hope.

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Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

I self-edit as I go along, which is part of the reason for that “slow writing” pace. I do get monthly feedback from my critique group, about three chapters at a time, which leads to more editing. After I send it to my editor, she’ll suggest further revisions, usually small changes, and catch typos and such.


Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

No real-life inspirations, thank goodness! Since I write cozy mysteries, my villains are generally normal-appearing people who’ve been hiding a dark side or who’ve been pushed over the edge by some perceived threat. That doesn’t seem so hard to imagine.


Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?

I’ve probably stolen traits from people I know, but I’ve mixed and matched to create someone totally new. I even avoid using names of people close to me, since I’d find that very hampering. I would keep picturing the real person, and he/she wouldn’t want to do all the things I’d want them to!


Q8: If you could write about anyone—fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical—who would you write about? Why?

I’d love to write about Miss Marple. I’ve read so many of those Agatha Christie novels that I feel I know the woman. But Agatha must have left out some parts of her life, which would be fun to come up with.

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Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

I enjoyed Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.


Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Wow, so many, but in so many different ways that I couldn’t begin to start naming them. I’ve been an avid reader since probably age six, so that’s a lot of books!


Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Since I’ve written a lot about my series protagonist, Callie, there’s probably few surprises in her left for me. So I’d choose the suspense author, Lyssa Hammond. She’s a little bit quirky but pretty smart, and since she’s a writer, we’d have a lot to talk about. I think it’d be a ball to spend a day with her in New York City, just wandering around, grabbing some food, and talk, talk, talking.


Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

 I do read my reviews, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to respond to them, good or bad other than occasionally sending thanks. I’ll definitely think about anything critical, but I can’t say they’ve caused me to make any big changes. Some things might have sunk into my subconscious, though, and triggered subtle shifts. Who knows?

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Thanks for joining me today! I’m sorry my computer didn’t want to cooperate so this is so late in the day. If you wish to visit other spots on the tour, click on the banner below to be taken to the main tour page!

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